by Patricia Hunt, associate in the Albany Province.
Associates are women and men from various faith traditions, married and single, who extend the mission and share the spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph without becoming vowed members. Find out more about becoming an associate.
Once again, within months of each other, the Syracuse CSJ Associates have lost another long-time and beloved member of our group. Suzanne Warner was called home to God after a valiant battle with cancer on July 18, 2021.
Suzanne would have made her 32nd commitment this past June, but her health didn’t allow for her to join us either in person or via Zoom that particular day. We are most grateful for the opportunity to have her join us, if for a brief time, for the last time, at our annual CSJ/CSJA picnic and Mission Day on June 28th. We will always be grateful to her dear friend, Pat Pilon, for making this meaningful and memorable occasion possible.
Sue played many roles in her life, but it was obvious that her role as wife, mother and grandmother took precedence. Even though many of the Syracuse associates who joined our group over the years never met her son, Tom, or her grandchildren, Brooke and Patrick, they certainly knew all about them and their latest achievements or activities.
Most remember her as a proud school bus driver for many years. As one associate related at her wake, “It was more a ministry than a job.” One of the main responsibilities of a bus driver is being attentive to traffic and weather conditions and ensuring passenger safety. Suzanne made it a point to be attentive to each child each time and encouraged them to greet each other. If there was a troubled or “about to be in trouble” child, she would take the time to find out what was going on, and help diffuse the situation with a one-on-one calm approach. Most of Suzanne’s dear neighbors were under the age of 12.
The profound influence on the associate community Suzanne had is not to be forgotten. She served on and off over most of her 30-plus years as a Syracuse area coordinator. She graciously volunteered behind the scenes of many associate Commitment Weekends. Most recently, she oversaw the Candle Lighting Ceremony, the last one held at the Provincial House.
So, my dear friend, please continue to help us as we navigate our own journeys with the dear neighbor, and help us keep following the planned route to our own divine destination.